In the worst of places, Yu-Seong had met the worst of opponents. He smiled bitterly as Rachel appeared with a radiant smile. It was as if she had been waiting for him.
"Do I really look like that?"
"Are you not?"
Rachel smiled before glancing at Yu-Seong’s neck with her red eyes. Then, she swung her hand ax to block Kim Do-Jin’s sword attack that had come closer.
"If I say no, you just might break my neck…” said Yu-Seong.
"Seriously? Do you think I'll kill my beloved gold nugget? Don't worry. There are still debts to be paid between us," said Rachel.
Do-Jin’s attacks went on as Rachel spoke, but none of his attacks landed.
Yu-Seong clicked his tongue. He could see Rachel easily blocking Do-Jin’s sword attacks by swirling her hand ax around.
'Even if Kim Do-Jin is here, in such a state… This is going to be difficult.’
The speed and sharpness of Do-Jin’s sword were clearly not as great as his usual performance.
Yu-Seong was in no better position to attack too. His wrist had been caught by Rachel.
‘Even if I use a Return Stone…’
Yu-Seong would certainly be forced to travel with Rachel due to their close proximity. This was truly a difficult situation.
Despite Yu-Seong's contemplative look, Rachel turned to look at Kim Do-Jin. She said, "Are the two of you close? It makes me jealous."
"Shut up," said Do-Jin.
"Ahaha! You've consistently lacked manners since the very beginning, haven't you?" replied Rachel.
If Helen were here, she would have snorted at Rachel and told her how ironic that comment was.
Rachel swung her hand ax to strike Kim Do-Jin's sword.
With a loud noise, Kim Do-Jin was sent flying into the air with blood pouring from his mouth. He was weaker than before, clearly. He had used too much power to defeat Emilia.
Observing the situation, Yu-Seong thought calmly.
‘I shouldn't judge with common sense when it comes to Rachel.’
Rachel didn’t take action for any certain purpose. Moreover, since Yu-Seong had already suffered a defeat from a previous battle against her, he knew that rash negotiation was unlikely to work.
‘What can I say to disorient Rachel…?’
Yu-Seong suddenly recalled a piece of information that had been constantly bugging him at the back of his mind.
'But if I’m not careful, this might make Rachel even more frenzied.'
However, Yu-Seong did not have much of a choice. Aside from that one piece of information, the original novel did not have any more information about Rachel left. Yu-Seong was aware that it was a double-edged sword, but he had to wield a sharp blade when there was imminent danger to his life.
‘Go big or go home.’
Yu-Seong clenched his fists. Before he could say anything, however, there was a loud sound.
When the sound echoed from the basement, Rachel suddenly stopped wanting to throw her hand ax at the fallen Do-Jin. With a grin, she slid the hand ax back to the holder along her waist.
"That's it," Rachel said. Looking at the Return Stone that was still in Yu-Seong’s hand, she asked, "What's that stone?"
It can be hard to make great work when its stolen from bit.ly/3iBfjkV.
Rachel didn't know about the Return Stone, but she could tell that it was a valuable item. She could feel the mana that flowed from the stone and see how Yu-Seong was gripping it so tightly.
Of course, there was no reason for Yu-Seong to explain the purpose of the Return Stone. Although he thought it was a dangerous gamble, based on the vibe so far, he thought that Rachel was being rather relaxed with him.
'Is it because I am worth a lot of money? No way...'
Yu-Seong decided to not overthink this part. For now, instead of finding out the reason, he had to think of a way to solve this situation.
"Well, that can be discussed later," said Rachel with a smile.
After releasing Yu-Seong’s wrist obediently, she did notice that Kim Do-Jin was struggling to lift his body with a limp leg. However, she did not attack again.
"Why?" asked Yu-Seong, surprised.
Rachel looked down at the ground with red eyes, then said, “Very soon, I am guessing that something amazing is about to happen. It’s surely going to be fun, but some damn grandma was trying to stop it. So…I instinctively interfered with it.”
"Grandma? Do you mean...Helen?"
"What? Did you come with her?" After asking that question, Rachel grinned and nodded as if she finally understood the situation. She said cheekily, "It’s an interesting combination. Anyway, the important thing is that I seem to have caused quite a big accident?"
"What do you mean...?"
Once again, the ground shook. This time, Yu-Seong felt the unpleasant energy flowing through his entire body and widened his eyes in surprise.
The unpleasant energy was completely different from Rachel’s aura and type of madness. The entire surroundings felt sticky and suffocating, like they were sinking into a swamp.
Unlike Yu-Seong, who was flustered by the unpleasant feeling that he was experiencing for the first time, Do-Jin breathed heavily and glared at Rachel in annoyance. He said, "It's the mana of demons. You pest, what on earth did you do?"
"Oh my gosh, was that the demon earlier? I wondered, since the power was so intense that it blew my whole body away!"
"You must be insane."
Yu-Seong had to forcibly suppress his shock at the conversation between the blushing Rachel and Do-Jin. He thought to himself.
Even in the original novel, the demons eventually appeared in Pyongyang.
‘The Marquess of the Demons, Aphelios!’
Aphelios, who had appeared from the Philosopher’s Stone after the sacrifice of the citizens of Pyongyang, was a powerful existence that ranked highly among the Demons. Fortunately, in the original novel, the people who came to Pyongyang were Helen, Kim Do-Jin who held the SS-rank, and Bernard Yoo.
‘After all, the two of them also came to find the Philosopher's Stone.’
Of course, the mighty Aphelios that had descended to Earth was killed by Kim Do-Jin and Bernard Yoo. However, this was a story of the far future. The event was supposed to take place at least three years after the present.
‘It’s too fast.’
This event was happening three years in advance, so there was a higher probability that a lower-level demon had been summoned than the Marquess of the Demons, Aphelios. This was because there had not been enough time to gather sufficient sacrifices and mana. Even so, since the demon had enough power to easily blow Rachel away, it was likely at least a Count-level demon.
Yu-Seong thought quickly about the tired Kim Do-Jin and himself, Rachel, Helen, the army of Pyongyang, and the players who still survived. Despite having a strong potential of beating the demon, there was no hope for victory.
Although Yu-Seong wanted to show courage in the face of the countless sacrifices that had been made by so many people, this was different from the battle with Emilia.
"Choi Yu-Seong. I believe you know that courage and tenacity should be distinguished." Do-Jin interrupted Yu-Seong’s private thoughts upon seeing his wavering gaze.
"....yes I do know that."
"What? Gold nugget, you don't seriously think you can beat that, do you? It would be fun, but..."
At that moment, Helen flew out from Juseok Palace like a bullet and punched Rachel.
Was it because she had been caught off guard? Rachel failed to react in time and couldn’t throw her hand ax.
"Kim Do-Jin, Choi Yu-Seong! Hurry up and return to Seoul! Pyongyang is over now," Helen shouted as she blocked Rachel’s attack with her Homunculus armor.
"Helen, your hand..."
Yu-Seong was surprised by Helen’s trembling fist suddenly transforming back into a hand. He thought the form was odd, because it did not look like an unharmed hand being covered by Homunculus armor.
"Is that important now, kiddo?" Helen asked as she pushed Rachel’s attack away with a massive palm.
She was absolutely right.
"I trust that you will come back safely," said Yu-Seong.
"Of course, kiddo. Do I really seem that weak to you?"
Yu-Seong no longer hesitated.
‘Now, I'll think of the best I can do in this situation.’
Yu-Seong could only think about playing the hero once he had the necessary qualifications. There was no need for him to risk further sacrifices through unnecessary recklessness. Right now, his priority was to escape with Kim Do-Jin and return to Seoul to request support. This was the best that he could do right now.
Being injured, Yu-Seong could not move too quickly. Of course, he thought that Rachel’s interference would be a hindrance, but Rachel was actually focused on the battle with Helen. Because of this, Yu-Seong was able to get close to Kim Do-Jin quite easily.
He wrapped his arm around Do-Jin’s shoulder, then said, “Both of us don’t look very good.”
Kim Do-Jin nodded silently at Yu-Seong. He was gazing at Rachel intently. In his eyes was a fierce determination, a burning hunger to beat Rachel the next time they met.
Meanwhile, Yu-Seong held the Return Stone tightly in his hand before releasing Chakra.
With a powerful noise that was low and continuous, the Return Stone erupted with a blue light. It enveloped Yu-Seong and Do-Jin.
Rachel, who had been focused on her intense battle with Helen, glanced over at Yu-Seong with disinterest. She suddenly said, "Don't forget. You owe me again for today. Pay up, gold nugget. See you again soon.”
As the blue light entirely consumed Yu-Seong and Do-Jin, they could see a towering pillar of darkness right in front of them.
Back in Seoul, Yu-Seong gazed at Do-Jin while receiving emergency treatment from a surprised Jin Yu-Ri. He had wanted Do-Jin to be treated since the man was also in bad shape.
“I can take care of myself,” Do-Jin said coldly before leaving the house.
Yu-Seong could understand his feelings. By receiving treatment here, Do-Jin would be using the Choi family’s money in a way. Yu-Seong thought that, with Do-Jin's egomaniacal personality, he would be unwilling to accept treatment that was paid for by the very target of his revenge.
‘What a stubborn guy.’
Yu-Seong didn't try to stop Do-Jin as he left. Instead, he called Choi Woo-Jae as he received treatment.
In fact, among the people around Yu-Seong now, Woo-Jae was the most trustworthy person in such a big incident.
- Hm, a demon in Pyongyang… I see.
Choi Woo-Jae ended the call after muttering that short phrase.
‘He is certainly going to try to use this incident politically in any way.’
The Comet group had already officially declared that they would soon be establishing a guild after the publication of Bernard Yoo’s article. They were threatening the Cheon-Ji Group.
At this point, no one else had received news that the devil had appeared in Pyongyang before Choi Woo-Jae had. Certainly, Woo-Jae would never give this information to others for free.
‘At least he'll have some kind of countermeasure.’
Pyongyang and Seoul were too close. In order to prevent great unnecessary damage, it was necessary for them to respond quickly and efficiently. It was also obvious, from South Korea's point of view, that the battlefield should be confined to Pyongyang.
‘They would want to hunt the demon before creating an army by conquering North Korean land.’
In other words, at that moment, the problem of the demon in Pyongyang was out of Yu-Seong's hands.
‘At first, I thought it wouldn't matter even if I became a player. As time passed, however, I am longing for more power.’
Perhaps if it had been impossible, he would have given up completely. However, Yu-Seong knew that he had unprecedented growth in his power even within the original novel.
‘I still don't understand why such power has been given to a villainous character who was originally meant to die miserably.’
If he could develop further, it was natural for him to try hard to become stronger and stronger.
‘There are too many variables.’
While thinking that perhaps the appearance of the tower might come faster than expected, Yu-Seong noticed that his emergency treatment had come to an end.
"How about seonbae-nim? Is she not back yet?"
It was then that Yu-Seong realized that Helen had not yet returned from Pyongyang.
If the Return Stone was used after roughly pushing Rachel away, Helen would have had enough time to return to Seoul.
'The dark light I saw last time…'
Yu-Seong remembered the mana pillar, which he had initially thought to be a simple blackout effect of the space transportation. He shook his head.
'No, even if that's the case, those two wouldn't easily fall.'
Both Helen and Rachel would be safe. In fact, he would have preferred if the latter was in an unsafe position, but the possibility of that was low.
‘If Rachel were to fall, then it’s likely that Helen would also be in danger…’
Yu-Seong chose to close his eyes and rest. He still believed that Helen would return. He had many thoughts, and he was struggling to keep his mind focused after that confrontation with Emilia in Pyongyang.
'By the time I open my eyes again, she must have returned. The demons of Pyongyang will also have been resolved by then.'
And, without Helen's return, six months went by like a flash of light.